Ben Chilwell found it frustrating to be told a cautious recovery from his plantar fascia injury was required but now the left back is ready to make his Premier League debut for Chelsea, he is thankful that the club’s medical staff ensured he was not rushed into playing.
The England international played just over an hour in the midweek Carabao Cup tie away to Tottenham Hotspur having made a brief cameo against Barnsley six days previous.
Having come through unscathed, Frank Lampard is expected to hand Chilwell his league debut against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.
Chilwel had hurt his plantar fascia late last season, an injury that is typically slow to heal and carries a high risk of re-aggravation.
“Obviously with a plantar fascia injury it’s one of those things you can’t come back too quickly because it aggravates it,” he told football.london at his unveiling press conference this afternoon.
“It’s been frustrating because you want to play and when you join a new football club you want to train and play straight away and help the team.
“But it was one of those things where if I rushed it I would have made it a lot worse. Credit to the staff here because they kind of helped me a lot in terms of managing the load and when I do come back I’m fully fit and, touch wood, not have another episode where it might flare up again.
“That’s the reason for building me back into match minutes slowly, which I’m obviously beginning to appreciate now because it’s important I get it right.”
He feels “very good” after playing against Spurs and is ready to start against Palace.
“Regarding my fitness, I’m fit. I played against Tottenham for 65 minutes and felt very fit. But I new it was only going to be 60, 65 minute job for myself. It’s an injury I can’t miss steps out and jump to play at 90 straight away because it will only aggravate it.
“Fitness wise I felt good after the game, which is positive. I trained today, I’m ready for the weekend. Fitness wise I feel very good.”
After that Chilwell will link up with Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the games against Wales, Belgium and Denmark, a squad also featuring Mason Mount and Tammy Abraham.
With the European Championship now scheduled for next summer, he knows that his club form must be good to stand a chance of being in that 23-man squad but being in such a competitive group at Chelsea will push him on.
“Obviously we’ve got the Euros this summer and the World Cup soon after that and the Nations League in there somewhere as well,” he added.
“So there’s a lot of important matches coming up for England and big tournaments that I want to be involved in. Playing for a club like Chelsea, I know that can only help my case to be a starter going into those tournaments.
“It’s similar to the scenario here as with England, there’s a lot of strong players in each position. I’m fully aware that I’m going to have to play well here to get that space.